Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who's Your Buddy?

\Who's Your Buddy?Tonight my Student Assistance Counselor, Doreen Zacher, is running a program for parents called STOP Bullying.  At NMHS we have always been proactive when it comes to protecting our students to ensure that they have a learning environment free from physical, social, and emotional distractions.  Even so, the passing of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15, otherwise known as the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Law (HIB), has moved our school to adopt additional measures to deal with an epidemic that plagues schools across the country.  
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Doreen has spearheaded many innovative initiatives designed to educate students on the negative impacts of HIB in order to prevent situations from occurring both in and out of school.  At the heart of each initiative are the students themselves.  I invite you now to read the thoughts of Jesus Collado, a current senior at NMHS, on one of these programs:  

“B.U.D.D.Y.” – Bullying Undermines Developing Diverse Youths; the name of the group conveys the message that about 30 high school students and their mentor, Ms. Dorene Zacher, are trying to spread. The idea is simple: organize a group of students to help regulate and teach other students about the dangers of bullying, intimidation, and harassment. These students are called “Buddy’s”, and each hold very strong and personal views about the bullying issue that is plaguing the country today. It is because of this that I have come to feel so comfortable in New Milford High School. I feel amazed and joyful that so many teachers and students have come together to support this program to work towards a more united future. There is a heart-warming quality to seeing a school, not only the students, but also the faculty, coming together for such a righteous cause. It truly makes me eager to be part of a movement that is marching towards a better future.  Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!

All students in the B.U.D.D.Y. program have received an intense day of training by Doreen.  The students themselves will be running the program tonight.  They are also are sent out to the other schools in our district to educate younger students on HIB.  Students learning life lessons, modeling good citizenship, and being empowered to make difference in their school and beyond is what education is all about.  We must empower our students to be involved in every facet of their educational experience if we want to truly create a system that they find valuable, relevant, and meaningful.  They should be the catalysts that drive reform.  Let their voices be heard!

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